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Unreal Trips on a Real Budget

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Genevieve Hoyt is a student at Salve Regina University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.

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Affording to Travel While Studying Abroad in Europe

It’s a well-known fact that studying abroad in Europe is expensive, which is why my next sentence is going to sound insane: Once you are finally in Europe and all settled in, get up and go! Start traveling. Of course it’s important to see all your city has to offer, but do not sit around over the weekends. Getting to Europe is the expensive part. Once you’re there, traveling from country to country is a breeze.

There are only three things you need to spend money on in order to travel: your flight, a room to stay in, and food.

The best way to find cheap flights in Europe is to have no idea where you want to go. Using websites like Skyscanner or EasyJet, you can search the cheapest flights out of your nearest airport. There is a 100% chance the cheapest flight will be to a beautiful European city, seeing as all cities in Europe are beautiful! I booked a trip for December that involves 5 European cities in 5 days. The flight and train tickets all together were around 200 dollars. All I had to do was pick the cheapest flights out of each airport!

After you’ve booked your flight (or flights!), it’s time to research where you will stay. My favorite website is Airbnb, where you can adjust your price range and location in a city, so you can essentially pick exactly where you want to stay and what you’re willing to pay. I’ve found that even the cheapest Airbnb’s are nicer and more private than hostels, so I highly recommend using this company.

Packing light is another way to save money while traveling. Checking luggage gives you more room to bring back “stuff,” but it also gets expensive. Countless times while traveling I’ve been tempted to buy a cute pair of shoes I see, but by only bringing a backpack (stuffed to the rim), would have no way to bring back bulky souvenirs. Buy a cheap magnet or key chain, but focusing on spending minimally and taking lots of photos and videos is the best way to save!

I’ve found that the cheapest food is also the most authentic, because that’s the food the locals eat. Restaurants get expensive, so one of the best ways to learn about a culture while saving money is to stroll through a grocery store. Pick up some foods you’ve never heard of before and try them out! If you’re on the go, stop by a small food stand. For example, Paris is filled with fancy Italian restaurants that may look tempting, but you’re not in Italy! You’ll clear out your wallet while simultaneously missing out on Parisian cuisine. Instead, grab a crepe, a baguette, and a cup of French onion soup at a roadside food stand.

One of the greatest advantages of studying abroad in Europe is the ease of travel between countries. It only takes a little research to have the best (and cheapest!) trip of your life.

The world awaits…discover it.

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